Stone is one of the pioneers of live computer music, and has been hailed by the Village Voice as "the king of sampling" and "one of the best composers living in (the USA) today." He has used computers in live performance since 1986. Stone was born in Los Angeles and now divides his time between San Francisco and Japan. He studied composition at the California Institute of the Arts with Morton Subotnick and James Tenney and has composed electro-acoustic music almost exclusively since 1972. His works have been performed in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and the Near East. In addition to his schedule of performance, composition and touring, he is on the faculty of the Media Department at Chukyo Unoversity in Japan.
A winner of numerous awards for his compositions, including the Freeman Award for the work Hop Ken, Carl Stone is also the recipient of grants from the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Foundation for Performance Arts. In 1984 he was commissioned to compose a new work premiered as part of the Olympic Arts Festival in Los Angeles. His music was selected by the dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones for the production 1-2-3. In 1989, he resided for 6 months in Japan under a grant from the Asian Cultural Council. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles commissioned a new work, Thonburi as part of the radio series "Territory of Art.” In 1991 he received separate commissions from Michiko Akao (She Gol Jib, for traditional Japanese flute and electronics), Sumire Yoshihara (for percussionist and electronics) and Sony PCL (Recurring Cosmos, for High Definition video and electronics), which was awarded special honors at the International Electric Cinema Festival in Switzerland in 1991. In 1993, he was commissioned by the Paul Dresher Ensemble to create a new work, Ruen Pair, with funds from the Meet the Composer/Reader's Digest Commissioning Program. In 1994 he was commissioned by the Strings Plus Festival, Kobe to create Mae Ploy, for string quartet and electronics. In that same year he also created Banh Mi So, for ondes martenot and piano, at the request of Takashi Harada and Aki Takahashi. In 1995, he was commissioned by NTT/Japan to create a new work for the internet, Yam Vun Sen, as part of IC95. In 1996, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, he created music for The Noh Project, a collaboration with choreographer June Watanabe and Noh master Anshin Uchida. In 1997 he was commissioned by Bay Area Pianists and Cal Performances to create a new work, Sa Rit Gol, for disklavier and pianist, as part of the Henry Cowell Centennial Celebration at UC Berkeley. Other festival performances in 1997 included Other Minds (San Francisco) and TonArt (Bern). In 1999 he was invited as Scholar-in-Residence at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study and Conference Center. In 2001 he served as Artist-in-Residence at the International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in Japan, and in that same year he joined the faculty of Chukyo University's School of Cognitive and Computer Sciences.
Carl Stone served as President of the American Music Center from 1992-95. He was the Director of Meet the Composer/California from 1981-1997, and Music Director of KPFK-fm in Los Angeles from 1978-1981. Other activities have included serving as a regular columnist for Sound & Recording Magazine in Japan, serving as web editor for Other Minds, a world wide web site devoted to New Music and for the official web site of the John Cage Trust.